E A Day Of Ambiguity

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung today headlined a statement by the Russian Embassy in The Hague which I want to share with you. It reads: “Russia would not be so stupid as to again use Novichok during the World Cup games there.” Germans are generally better at reading Dutch than those with different mother tongues, as in this case.

During World War II, however, different pronunciation rules between the two countries made it easy for the Dutch Resistance to catch the Germans in their midst, by asking them to name the Amsterdam Airport, Scheveningen. In Dutch it sounds like Skeveninkh, while in German it's Shevening.

But in this case I trust that the FAZ correctly translated from the Dutch. And that the Russian Embassy more or less confirmed that the first round of poisoning aimed at a former British spy and his daughter was done by the Russians.

The latest victims in the Salisbury area of Britain include a “skip digger”, someone who looks for valuables in a garbage dump, who may have found something he shared with his girlfriend, the other person poisoned with novichok this week.

Presumably when Pres. Trump meets Putin and Theresa May some of this will be cleared up. Mexico is in favor today with the Bolsa up 2.6%, perhaps because one of his first moves as future president was to announce that penalties for marijuana use will be reduced under the Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador administration. One of our shares, a Mexican multinational corporation which dominates its industry rose 4.8%. 

Because this is a day with little news, and what there is ambiguous, I made it my business to read the Brazilian, German and French papers today. I also learned that beleaguered Deutsche Bank (DB) may be bailed out, not by being allowed to buy the government's stake in Commerzbankbut by a move on its rival by JPMorgan Chase. Someone has to take the place of China's HNA which owns 9.9% of the country's leading bank. Speculation today has boosted DB's beaten down share price by over 3%, but I am not buying.

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